Value of short duration pizzicato practice?
Greetings again friends!
Recently at work we have been working a lot of overtime. When you combine this with an overnight schedule, plus my other music activities that are not on violin/viola, it leaves very little time for practice on them.
In fact, I haven't picked up my viola in a week and a half (much longer for the violin, rip). This lead me to ponder ways I could sneak practice in at work.
I came to the conclusion that I could either use my 'beater' viola or even purchase a very cheap instrument and leave it in the trunk, then use it on my 15 minute breaks (lunches are for walking!) in the front seat of my car for practice.
Obviously because of space constraints, this would have to be pizz practice with no semblance of proper form or technique - in fact, to use the words of Boccherini it would be 'immitando la chitarra'.
What are you thoughts on the validity of this form of practicing? My logic is that it's better to have two 15 minute practice sessions of *something* than zero practice sessions of nothing, but what would one focus on? Perhaps plucking along to recordings?
Unfortunately my supervisor is extremely unsympathetic to the situation - no instruments out of their case in the building! (except that one time the power was out...)
Better than nothing! I find pizzicato sounds best with the "fat" of the plucking finger, over the fingerboard, with a slight rubbing motion rather than hooking the string. The left hand needs to press noticeably harder than usual to get a clear sound.
Skip your breaks and leave 1/2 hour earlier and practice better? Nothing wrong with pizzicato practice per se in my view, but squeezing it in in the car for 15 minutes minus travel and setup time sounds futile.
How about an electric violin with headphones? Tell your employer it is for therapy. Can you get a doctor's note?
If you'd like to practice with pizzicato, then I'd say go for it! It is definitely more beneficial to practice a little than not at all, because you retain finger memory of your left hand. It may be difficult to practice the bowing but if you have the notes down then the bowing can follow much more quickly.
Leaving your violin or viola in the car trunk-if it spends any time in the sun - your beater will become totally beaten! Heat is really bad for our instruments.
Adrian, thank you. I do agree that intonation might be a bit of an issue, but it might also be a boon. As there is less time to listen to the pitch and less time to correct it might encourage sharper intonation and hearing... one might dream!
Just a follow up to this: